- Plush digs inside
- Superb ride quality
- Fantastic engines
- Loaded with tech
- Does anyone actually like that grille?
- 745e doesn’t cut it
- Massively expensive
features & specs
The 2021 BMW 7-Series has brash looks but brims with sophistication from behind the wheel.
What kind of vehicle is the 2021 BMW 7-Series? What does it compare to?
The 2021 7-Series is a full-size luxury sedan that competes for well-heeled buyers against the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Audi A7.
Is the 2021 BMW 7-Series a good car?
The 2021 7-Series is a stellar big sedan, though its bucktoothed styling may not be for everyone. We’ll look past those fangs and give it a 7.8 out of 10 on the TCC scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
What's new for the 2021 BMW 7-Series?
The 2021 7-Series is mostly carried over from last year’s big styling update, though heating for the front seats, steering wheel, and center armrest is now standard while the CD player has been dropped.
This big sedan comes in a single wheelbase with plenty of space for front and rear passengers in a conservative, well-appointed interior. We can’t say the same about the exterior, which has clean, agreeable lines from every angle but the one you’ll see first. Those big kidney grilles take up a lot of real estate and give the 7-Series a blunt appearance that will take some acclimation.
BMW doesn’t sell may 7-Series sedans—after all, nearly every one you’ll find on a dealer lot will command six figures—but it does offer a lot of engine choices. The base inline-6 delivers 335 hp to the rear or all four wheels and does it with plenty of force, but we’d consider stepping up to the 750i for its standard all-wheel drive and its impressive 523 hp. For a tick over $100,000, it offers a lot of power for the money.
Other options include the sporty Alpina B7 and the ferocious—but likely to be exceedingly rare—M760i with its hefty twin-turbo V-12. The plug-in hybrid 745e delivers decent power and the allure of 16 miles of electric-only driving, which would make it the 7-Series of choice for those attempting to go green. Base 740i sedans are fairly frugal and could approach 30 mpg on the highway, while others are as thirsty as you might expect.
No matter the engine, the 7-Series has good roadholding and a cosseting ride, though these big proportions and a somewhat aloof steering system hardly make it fun in a traditional sense. But that’s not what big sedans are about, is it?
The plush cabin comes loaded with a high-tech infotainment system and a digital instrument cluster, while power-adjustable rear seats and a central console are on the options list. Standard safety fare is top notch, and the Executive Driving Assistance package tosses in one of the most advanced driver-assistance systems offered on any car. Plan to spend for it.
How much does the 2021 BMW 7-Series cost?
The base 740i runs about $88,000 before any options, though most buyers are likely to take advantage of a few extra-cost niceties. This range can top out at around $180,000 with every box ticked.
Our money would be on the 750i. Add a few options and you’ll still be looking at a reasonable—all things considered—$110,000 or so asking price.
Where is the 2021 BMW 7-Series made?
2021 BMW 7-Series
We’re solidly in the “no” camp when it comes to the 7-Series’ crass exterior, though its divine inside wins it points.
Is the 2021 BMW 7-Series a good-looking car?
From three out of four sides, the BMW 7-Series is attractive outside, and its interior is luxuriously restrained. We can’t say the same about its grille—it’s just too ostentatious for our taste. We rate the big BMW at 7 out of 10.
There’s no escaping that massive grille, which takes up so much real estate up front. It’s not for improved engine cooling, either, since much of it is actually blocked off. It’s blunt and tasteless, and in sharp contrast to conservative lines everywhere else.
The interior is beautifully-wrought and brimming with gorgeous design details. It’s not as bold as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, but switches and controls are placed where we expect to find them, and the materials BMW chooses are equally top-notch to those found in any rival.
2021 BMW 7-Series
For a big sedan, the BMW 7-Series is very good to drive.
Is the BMW 7-Series 4WD?
Most versions of the 7-Series come with all-wheel drive, though the base 740i shuffles power rearward.
How fast is the BMW 7-Series?
The 7-Series offers a choice of 6-, 8-, and 12-cylinder power plus a plug-in hybrid setup. The 740i is the gateway to the model, and it’s plenty strong for just about any driver’s needs. We rate the lineup at 8 out of 10 thanks to what’s under the hood, plus extra points for handling and ride comfort.
The base 3.0-liter inline-6 is rated at 335 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque, figures good enough for a 60 mph sprint of around five seconds.
Step up to the 750i and BMW makes all-wheel drive standard. The twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 pushes 523 hp to the wheels, slicing more than a second off the 60-mph dash. The M760i swaps in a twin-turbo V-12 that hustles 601 hp to the ground. Though it doesn’t make the big sedan that much faster on paper, this hefty V-12 delivers space shuttle-like grunt from any speed. It is spectacularly fast, and it makes a refined snarl that will have you pressing the skinny pedal downward at every opportunity.
The 745e uses a turbocharged inline-6 linked to a lithium-ion battery and an electric engine for performance akin to the 740i plus the comfort of 16 miles of electric-only driving accessed at the tap of a button. This setup works well enough for short commutes, or to an office where charging is possible, though we’ve found the brakes in BMW’s plug-in hybrids to possess an unusual feel.
No matter the engine, the 7-Series comes standard with an adaptive air suspension that gives this big sedan plush, comfortable moves over any kind of road. Handling is top-notch, but road feel from the steering in most versions can feel artificial. It’s clear that this Ultimate Driving Machine is more of an Ultimate Riding Machine.
The rare Alpina 7 uses a 600-hp version of the twin-turbo V-8 to deliver the most thrilling 7-Series driving experience. Its special suspension settings deliver impressive poise befitting the long-standing tuning house’s tradition.
2021 BMW 7-Series
Comfort & Quality
The 2021 BMW 7-Series is a proper flagship sedan, especially when loaded up with extra-cost comforts.
The 2021 BMW 7-Series boasts exceptionally comfortable front and rear seats, plus luxurious materials and high-tech features that elevate it to a perfect 10 out of 10 on our scale.
Front-seat riders have plush thrones with standard heating and optional cooling and massage—options worth selecting. Rear-seat riders have more than enough leg room to stretch their legs out, and optional equipment includes power-adjustable individual rear seats separate by a console.
Cargo space is nothing special, however; most versions can pack around 18 cubic feet of luggage, though the 745e slices that to just under 15 cubes.
Even the base 7-Series is decadent inside, but you’ll want to spend some time perusing the massive list of available trim finishes BMW offers should you plan to special order yours. Fewer 7-Series buyers opt for one off the lot than other BMWs, after all.
2021 BMW 7-Series
The BMW 7-Series sets a high standard with its collision-avoidance tech.
How safe is the BMW 7-Series?
Federal and independent testers haven’t smacked the 2021 BMW 7-Series into a wall just yet, so we can’t assign a score here. Don’t hold your breath, though—such testing is usually reserved for far more affordable cars that sell in larger numbers.
Still, the spec sheet is loaded with active safety features including automatic emergency braking, a particularly good adaptive cruise control system, active lane control, and rear cross-traffic alerts, plus a slew of airbags for outboard seats.
The extra-cost Professional Driving Assistance package adds an even more advanced adaptive cruise control system that can take over controls in a traffic jam or move the car into an open lane of traffic at the tap of a turn signal. These features are pricey, but worthwhile should you plan to spend a lot of time on the highway.
2021 BMW 7-Series
The 2021 BMW 7-Series wants for little, especially when loaded to the gills.
BMW wants around $88,000 for the least-expensive 740i, but realistically most models will have you owing the German automaker six figures. By the numbers, we rate the 7-Series at 9 out of 10. It nails every point on our chart except value.
Which BMW 7-Series should I buy?
Try them all—at the very least, you’ll have a fun time test driving every 7-Series.
The base 740i is plenty of full-size sedan, but by the time you’ve added a few options, it’ll be tickling $100,000. At that rate, we would step up to the 750i xDrive—there’s no denying the allure of all that V-8 power, after all.
Stick with the base Luxury trim since the $3,000 M Sport package is more about looks than tech. From there, plan to add the Driving Assistance Professional Package for its more advanced cruise control. If the back seat is not a priority (and for some reason you’ve decided not to buy a 5-Series), you’re just about done. But since this big sedan is best-lived in the rear seat, add one of the two rear seating packages. The Luxury pack runs just shy of $4,000 and adds power adjustment for the rear seats, while the Executive pack costs a reasonable $1,800 more but adds a beautiful center console.
Every 7-Series uses BMW’s latest iDrive infotainment system, which uses a bright touchscreen accessed by either a control knob or hand gestures. Wireless Apple CarPlay compatibility is included.
How much is a fully loaded 2021 BMW 7-Series?
The M760i xDrive can be loaded up with around $20,000 in options. Be ready for a $181,000 bill should you choose to go this route.
BMW includes a 4-year/50,000-mile warranty with free scheduled service.
2021 BMW 7-Series
The plug-in hybrid 7-Series is fairly eco-friendly, but other models can be plenty thirsty.
Is the 2021 BMW 7-Series good on gas?
The 2021 BMW 7-Series will swallow a lot of premium fuel. We rate this range at 4 out of 10, and that’s based on the most common version—the 740i.
The EPA rates the rear-drive 740i at 22 mpg city, 29 highway, 25 combined. That’s not bad, and it’s only a little worse with all-wheel drive: 20/27/23 mpg.
The 750i guzzles more like we expect: 17/24/19 mpg, and the Alpina B7 is rated the same.
Eco-conscious drivers who want to be immersed in luxury should look to the 745e, which has a 22-mpg combined rating but can motor for about 16 miles on electric power alone with a full charge.
The V-12 version hasn’t been rated yet, but BMW estimates it will hit 20 mpg on the highway.